Monthly Archives: May 2012

Home Education; Government want to “support” us??? I doubt that.

Local Authorities are still breaking the law on Home Education. I personally wouldn’t mind being “monitored” nearly as much if there was any real support for families who home educate and any real care for children in school who are being seriously abused either at school or at home. The fact is, I am not alone in having seen Social Workers, Local Authority staff and even the police betray seriously abused children and children in extremely difficult family situations simply because of being idle, while these same people are all too willing to bully innocent families. I can’t even blame it on lack of training any more. It’s a basic lack of decency and integrity.

So, it would be good to think the present Government might have some kind of committment to cleaning house in Local Authorities, Social Services and the police, especially where children are concerned.

Well they haven’t. Instead they are coming after Home Educators again.

The Education Committee have announced a new inquiry into Home Education looking at what “support” we receive from Local Authorities. The short answer is “NONE AT ALL”.

I would truly like to believe that this “inquiry” really was a way of trying to clean house, but I simply don’t.

It’s  time they just left us alone.

Marriage and children: claiming it back

Catholics, both Latin and Eastern and Orthodox have a massive advantage over most other Christians in that marriage is a Sacrament. Not only do we have all the graces God gives in that but the other Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist through Mass or Divine Liturgy gives even more grace.

This is not a magic potion to make marriage “happily ever after” however. The graces God gives in the Sacraments are tools we can use or discard. If we choose to use, gratefully, that which we are given it will certainly make marriage easier, but there will still be challenges, hard work and bad times to get through.

So let’s start with the Catechism:

1601 The matrimonial Covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by it’s nature ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children; this covenant between baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a Sacrament.”

So what do we see?

First marriage is a Covenant not a contract.  A Covenant can only be given freely and we see that the man and woman bestow the Covenant and therefore the Sacrament upon each other.

Second marriage is for the good of the spouses and the ultimate good of any person is making it to heaven, so spouses are to mutually assist one another on that journey.

And third; marriage ordered through nature and natural law to having and educating children.

Both spouses are supposed to love and educate the children. That means mum and dad need to be there. To be there, the couple many very well have to struggle through some horrendously difficult times and suffer because of the responsibilities and commitments that come with marriage and family life.

Believe me, whether you intend to or not, all parents DO educate their children, either for good or ill.  In order to educate our children for good, we need to love them by doing love even if that means saying “No” rather a lot (to them and to ourselves).

All the research, even that which comes from secular sources, show that children need a mother and a father, both girls and boys. It shows that children who grow up without a parent because one parent has died, find life harder, but children who grow up without a parent because of divorce or abandonment, do far worse, educationally, socially, emotionally and mentally over all. The exceptions in no way disprove the research.

As adults we are to protect the rights and needs of the children we are given. We are to sacrifice things we want for what they need.  It might mean small sacrifices such as giving up those toxic TV programmes that we’ve been having on in front of the children.; taking the TV, games console(s) and computer out of the their bedroom and guarding their dignity and innocence.

But there’s a lot more…

Least expected little holiness

Mass was pretty frenetic today. The children from the local primary school were making their First Holy Communion and so the Church was packed and loud.

From my little corner by the Confessional (what I call ‘crip corner’ because all us cripples congregate in that area) I could see the back door and enjoy the light breeze.

At the end of Mass as many people were getting louder and restless- not being used to attending I assumed – a man walked in through the back door. With his slightly “bulky” walk and mostly shaved head he looked “well ‘ard”. He turned to the little votive place, plopped some money in the box and quietly lit a candle under the statue of the Madonna and Child and then he quietly looked up at her and her Son, made the sign of the cross, half genuflected and bowed and then left the church.

I thought it was a truly beautiful moment.

Home Education Book record and the Sacraments and a bit of history. (freebies)

LITERATURE and READING NOTEBOOKING PAGES that I made are up at That Resource Site. I have included some covers of books we are or have used to get y’all started. Just cut out the covers and stick them in the boxes or get your children to draw the book cover if that works better for you.

I have only a couple of lines for each book to help encourage the “Don’t make me write!” children in our families. It will hopefully encourage even young ones to keep a record of the books they love and hate.

You might also like my 19th Century timeline notebook. I’m presently working on a 14th century timeline which covers especially the events around the mother’s of Europe SS Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena.

For those of us preparing children for the Sacraments there’s Kalei’s great little lapbooking and worksheet resource SEVEN SACRAMENTs LAPBOOK and this SIN AND FORGIVENESS worksheet and this little prep booklet for the Sacrament of Confession (scroll down the page a bit).

Finally a bit of history.

This Youtube video gives an excellent story view of the Cristeros in 1920s Mexico. It’s a part of history I know nothing about and the tellers of the history here admit it an astonishing story that has been forgotten. A new film is being made For The Greater Glory. This vid is great for teens (I personally wouldn’t show it to my younger ones as the violence is obvious and worse because it really happened).

Marriage and children: a side topic from contraception and abortion to polygamy/

This excellent article covers in a few short words why polygamy doesn’t bode well for women and children. While all of this looks like common sense and anyway history gives us a clear view of the problems that went with (and go with) polygamy, not just in child survival and care but population imbalance, I have another question.

How has contraception and the wholesale slaughter of unborn children affected the balance for men and women who are called to marriage? It has been mentioned fairly often that the shortage of priests and religious has something to do with the sheer number of children killed before birth.

We know that the mass killing from World War I left many women with dead husbands and fiance’s so that many women never married or had children.  Just from my gran’s family we can see the devastation. There were 8 girls and 1 boy. The boy was killed when he was 16 at the front on the last day of WWI (something my gran never got over). Of the girls only gran and one sister married. My auntie Gwen’s husband was killed or died early, so she had no children, and my auntie Eileen’s fiance was killed and I have no idea whether the other aunts ever had a boyfriend or fiance. My Gran had three sons, one of whom died at aged 6.  From just one family you can see that killing off a proportion of the population had a sad knock on effect.

What has the refusal to even have children done? Surely there are less potential marriageable people out there, and then the ones that make it to adulthood are often so seriously damaged by their parents “Me Myself and I” culture that they are hardly fit for friendship let along marriage and parenting.

So next – some solutions to consider.

Marriage and children; what went wrong and when (II)

There are parts of Scripture that are very difficult to understand and we should be grateful that Christ gave us the Church, His bride, to lead us to all truth, because otherwise we could go around interpreting Scripture pretty much as we like and as St. Peter warns, doing it to our own destruction.

From the very beginning the Church disallowed divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion and treated children as blessings, not inconveniences or commodities.

No matter how people in the Church sinned, the teachings never changed. Even when pope’s were sinning against the 6th Commandment, they never changed the teachings of the Church.

But something gave way seriously in the 20th Century.  As the First World War ended a culture was growing in which adults were becoming more self serving and less willing to have and care for children.

In 1930 the Church of England’s Lambeth Council declared that married couples for very serious reasons could contracept. Some commenters have suggested this door was pushed open because many clergy were already contracepting in the face of Christian teaching. Christ was shoved aside for personal convenience.

Pope Pius XI responded immediately with Casti Connubii on the sanctity of marriage and reiterated the 2000 year prohibition of pushing God out of the bedroom with contraception.

You see the authority Christ gave to His Church in binding and losing was limited by His Will. She has no authority to go against God, which should be obvious, but we have lost the ability to reason.

So the C of E opened the door and all the consequences followed. By the time the 1960s arrived with “find yourself” and “how does it feel for you?” mantras even Christians were buying into the culture and divorce and remarriage, contraception kept God out of marriage.

The end result is as we see it today- and it’s an ugly mess. But we can’t point fingers at gay people wanting “marriage” or even couples playing “marriage” without actually making the Covenantal vows, when we Christians and that includes Catholics, have ditched Christ’s teaching for convenience sake.  The fact that many protestant churches have actually enabled divorce and remarriage, deliberately sterile marriages through contraception and even given a nod and a wink at adultery is shameful.

By the time Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae  in 1968, a lot of damage was already done to Christianity and the rejection of HV by so many Catholic priests and bishops sent us hurtling down the same road.

The prophecies of Humanae Vitae have all come true and the damage to women and especially to children can hardly be denied. Even secular research is admitting it.

THIS IS A GOOD OVERVIEW OF the teachings on marriage with some studies on how divorce is hurting families at the end.

So that’s how we fled down the slippery slope. How do we climb back up?

Marriage and children: what went wrong and when? (I)

I’m sure most of you are well aware that marriage took its first major hit in the Garden. The consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve are very much in how their marriage was now to be conducted and how fallen human nature would affect marriages from then on.

By the time Jesus is preaching on the subject and raising marriage to the status of Sacrament a lot of poisonous water has gone under the bridge. The last Old Testament prophet, St. John the Baptist is martyred for defending the sanctity of marriage. There is definitely a sign of things to come there, as the Bridegroom takes up His mantel.

Jesus was asked about the Rabbi Hillel’s view that a man should be able to divorce his wife for any reason. Essentially they were asking if “no fault” divorce was allowed by God.

The answer was a very clear “No.” Jesus explained that Moses only allowed divorce because the Israelites were so hard-hearted. I have heard more than one Biblical scholar comment that Moses allowed divorce to prevent the even worse sin of wife murder. Israel became so sunk into the blood thirsty and nasty pagan culture that killing your wife to get a better one would have been a genuine problem had it not been for the “get out clause” Moses allowed.

But Jesus raises the bar again for His Church reminding us of this:

Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female? For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, what God has put together, let no man put asunder.

(Matt. 19:4-6)

So a man and a woman who are free to marry (I’ll come back to that) go before God and take their vows and so God puts them together and therefore they cannot be separated. That means that even if they divorce they are still married and not free to remarry. In fact Jesus Himself clarifies that point when He said

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.

(Luke 16:18)

The “get out” clause that has been overused and misinterpreted has been the “except for unchastity” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 5:32. I’ll come back to that.

As the Church grew it was well understood and written in the Didache c.80 AD that marriage was a Sacrament and that no Christian couple could divorce and remarry or use contraception (St. Paul called it pharmakai) or abortion.

But things are very different now. What went wrong?

On Marriage and children

I’ve been wondering about writing on this topic for some time, but always felt I couldn’t really do it clearly. Emily Stimpson puts into words the very same problems I’ve been mulling over since the bishops of England and Wales sent that letter around to be read at Mass. You see, I just can’t think of one single time when I’ve heard anyone preach about the sanctity of marriage and the place of children in the family. Priests are not only ignoring the onslaught that marriage has suffered, and not supporting those of us trying to stay in valid, sacramental marriages, many of them have been actively engaged in undermining it.

The Catholic Church in Her teaching has never wavered on marriage; it’s indissolubility, the place of children and the grave matter of contraception and abortion. And as far as I know She is the only Church who has never budged an inch on the truth and has stuck with Jesus throughout- but many priests are not shepherds but hirelings and that shows.

It’s obvious that when society – especially Christians- ditch Christ’s teaching on marriage and decide to make the adults choose whatever they like to do about it, that the place of children will be seriously effected. Bizarrely, however, there’s a great propaganda war going on to try and convince us that what we see in our kids friend’s and our neighbours and those who go to our churches, simply isn’t happening and that divorce, remarriage, mum’s boyfriends. dad’s girlfriends, and the “I did it my way” adults have not damaged the children at all.

Thanks to contraception children are no longer a gift or a blessing, they are a product of adult choice.  Adult’s choose when and whether to have a child and will therefore choose whether to adhere to any vows taken for the benefit of that product. And this is how so-called Christians have behaved since 1930.  As a Christian “culture” we have turned Christ’s words of “Suffer the little children…” around to means “Let the little children suffer so long as I can do whatever I want with whomever I choose.”

Christian communities have sunk so low that they are no longer merely allowing abortion to happen, some of them are voting in favour of killing off unborn children.

When we are asked why we are standing up against the ontologically impossible “gay marriage” those who ask are looking at the rotten fruit of our own trees.

We need to get back to what Christ commands on marriage…

(more on this later)

Friday Freebies

Free Audio Books

Lit2GO has a good set of audio books with the words available as pdfs.

For more audio books you might like a recent find of mine,  Cover to Cover where Ron Hansen’s book Atticus is presently being read. Can’t tell you anything about this book as I’ve never read it – and haven’t listened to it yet either. I note that Cover to Cover has a Library section which is being updated.

This Librivox reading of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald is really good. I hope Mr. Minter might get around to reading The Princess and th Curdie as well.

We are still listening to Stranger Moon from Readings from Under the Grapevine

Patrick Madrid does a complete set of talks following his useful little book Pope fiction debunking the silly black legends and other crud that has been spread about the papacy over the years.

Free lesson help

We are using the Classical Academic Press Latin and Greek. They have Head Adventure Land as a free resource to back the lessons up, but I reckon you could use some of the resources whether or not you use the books.

FREE from ME

My latest Freebie is up on Kalei’s  Thatrescourcesite Blog which is a notebook timeline of the 19th Century. I am hoping to make other century notebooks as time goes on.

ME/CFS and FM – the Ampligen question.

I am STILL reading my way through Osler’s Web and it’s still very good and worth the effort of me reading it. I am in awe of Hillary Johnson for the sheer care, time and work that she put into this ten year overview of the crisis in care and treatment for people with ME misnamed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

One of the threads throughout the book is the story of the Amligen trials. It’s a story that is still going on today. Patient’s from the severe end of CFS were chosen to do the trial and all patients have to stop taking any other medication they were on for the duration of the trial. Half were given Amligen via IV and half received saline.  Remember these patients were so ill they either used a wheelchair, were more or less housebound or were unable to get out of bed most days.

As the trial went on those on saline became much sicker and 4 patients, unable to cope any longer committed suicide. I cannot begin to describe what it’s like to be that ill – and for them to be trying to survive with no meds, is unbelievably difficult.

Meanwhile those on Ampligen were improving all the time and the side effects had proved marginal in all but one case, and even she requested to continue the trial because she was getting better.

It was going so well that the drug company and researchers thought they could end it early and go to the FDA with what they had, as it was already showing better results than drugs that had so quickly been approved for HIV and AIDS patients.  So the drug was stopped.

And those who had been so much better, out and about, cognitively functioning and no longer needing their wheelchairs, relapsed within three months.

The drug was not approved.

The fight goes on as more and more people lose everything to this illness and more and more people die of it.  The myths are still circulated, but thankfully are answered by those who have spent the time finding out the truth about this.

More recently Rituximab is also going through trials and showing some promise. Let’s hope and pray that even if those of us ill now will never see treatment let along a cure, at least the next generation can hope for a better deal.

 

Home Education; curriculum or not curriculum that is the question…

Whether it is better to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous lesson plans, or to take arms against the sea of trouble and buy a curriculum.

One of the first questions I still get asked when people discover that I home educate the children is whether I follow the National Curriculum. I always say no because we are not obliged to, and I try not to say what I actually think of the standard of the NC because most parents have their children in school.

But now I am more or less following a curriculum. What are the pros and cons?

Pro; I don’t have to plan every single lesson for the children and this frees up my time quite a bit and is vital now that I can’t actually think straight sometimes, let alone properly plan lessons. Having it just there helps me enormously when I’m struggling to string a coherent thought together.

The lessons in the workbooks I have are very well laid out and even on a bad day for me, they are easy to follow.

The workbook approach definitely suits my older one.  I think using Seton and some Catholic Heritage works really well for Ronan who is 9 because he can read fluently. This has helped him learn to be a much more independent learner and willing to read and look things up for himself.

Pro: there are some beautifully presented curriculum products out there that offer workbooks and videos and CDs teaching something I never could have such as the Latin, Greek and Math U See

Cons: It costs more to buy other people’s workbooks than to make my own. However the cost isn’t that much more and it’s way cheaper on time and brain cells. I also try and cut costs by having them use notebooks rather than write directly into the workbook, so the books can be passed down.

Con on that though is once I’ve paid for this stuff I am reluctant to buy something different for one of the others as that would be expensive. I just have to hope it will suit all of them. I did cave on Life of Fred, but it was worth the extra cost.

I am not sure if this is a con or not. But my concern over notebooks has been the sense that they lack flexibility and spoon feed the information. However, in fairness to the Seton workbooks, I don’t think this is so. There is an element of making the student learn through his own effort and I like that.

Free curriculums require as much work over all as making your own. But they are a good guide and being free can be a godsend to a very tight budget.

I would never buy a full curriculum. No matter how good they might be over all there will always be aspects that don’t suit my children’s way of learning, or where we have settled on one area and I don’t want to change it. So, for example, Seton uses Saxon Math which is supposed to be very good indeed, but we are happy with Math U See and Life of Fred and will continue with that.

Avila needs a gentler approach than the righteousness of Seton so a couple of CHC books have helped her with the Seton work.

There are some home educators who take it as a great affront if anyone should ask them a question about curriculum because they wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. I have never heard a coherent argument about this, but bizarrely (and this is something I must stop) I have found myself defending or making excuses about buying in curriculum.

The major reason for home educating is to tailor the education to the child’s learning ability and interests. But there is also the reality of needing to tailor it to the needs of the family, and in my case, to the limits of the “teacher”.  There’s nothing shameful in this (so why am I defending myself?…silly me) and there are so many very good curricula choices out there, mainly American, that we can buy them with a clear conscience.

Leibster Award

Erin of Seven Little Australians and Counting has awarded me the Leibster Blog award. How lovely is that! I have to recommend a little side link she has of her Aussie Book Threads. It’s pretty easy to find books on British or American life, natura history or history, but I’ve hunted around a bit to find good books for other countries. This is a lovely well of literature to dive into.

The idea of the Liebster Blog Award is to direct traffic to those of us in the much quieter corners of the blogosphere, where few people might otherwise land.

So I am passing this on to Clare of Smooth and Easy Days

and fire-brand Karen who is still a Gem of the Ocean despite living here in lovely England now – not that her visa situation makes it seem she is very welcome.

And while I’m here HAPPY (belated) MOTHER’S DAY to all you mums across the pond.

ME/CFS and FM awareness day

It’s the awareness day today. I’m too tired to blog on this right now, but I note that Nonna had a little poster about how today is also Florence Nightingale’s birthday and that her symptoms were very much like ME. This fascinated me because I had wondered about that when I read her life story.

I’ll try and blog on this soon….

In the meantime, please pray for all with these debilitating and medically ignored diseases.

The people who KNOW because they met someone once…

Every time I see an article that allows comments on home education or Natural Family Planning there is always at least one comment from someone who KNOWS someONE who is not home educating their children properly, or a home educated child who is “weird”, or they know couples who are using NFP with a “contraceptive mentality.” – although when this supposition is scratched it turns out they don’t actually know anyone per se but people must be… From this minute piece of information they extrapolate to ergo “home education is bad” or “NFP is just Catholic contraception” or words to that effect.  It is truly irritating to me.

Taking the second thing first I personally have never met anyone who hs used NFP “contraceptively”. I dare say such couples exist. I have seen non-Christian NFP sites advocate using condoms during the woman’s fertile time to avoid pregnancy, but then that’s not NFP. . As condoms have up to an 15% failure rate at preventing pregnancy, this seems like daft advice to me, but it’s given anyway.

But none of this proves that practicing Catholics who know what God wants are misusing NFP. Ah, say the ones in the know, just look around and see all those families with hardly any kids.  I had a woman say this to me after Mass once. Yuk. As it happens I know the stories of a lot of those “not enough children” parents and they have some serious suffering to contend with. Many of them can’t have more children and so aren’t using NFP at all. I hope they never have to deal with the snarky “soul police” themselves.

Others received “bad” advice from a priest. But in both the cases I know of where a priest advised sterilisation the situation the mother’s were in (and remain in) were so extreme I can see how a priest (especially a poorly formed one) might think he was doing the right thing.

As for home education and the “weird” children, or the children who behave badly – have I met such families in home ed circles? You bet. At least a handful. There are some truly badly parented home ed children out there.  But this doesn’t make home education bad. In fact the research, studies and USA Sat scores tell us that Home education (homeschooling) produces some of the best educated, morally mature and personable young people there are.

I live between a number of schools and so our road is the highway for lots of children every day going to the nearest six schools. The appalling behaviour, foul language, causal violence and just plain nastiness that I see most days in no way makes me wish my children were in school. But neither do I think schools should all be closed. There are plenty of lovely, well adjusted schooled children out there. It’s about the parenting, not the form of education. And sometimes it’s not even parenting, it’s that difficult to grapple with Free Will thing. Some well brought up, well educated, well loved children will go off the rails when there’s no adult with a tight rein around. It happens.

Some parents who send their children to school are pretty irresponsible and don’t care how their children behave and some parents who home educate are the same.

The final comment that always gets made is along the lines of Home Education is difficult and those who do it are “brave.”  The same “it is difficult” comments come about NFP. The subtext is always that if something is difficult it either shouldn’t be tried or it can’t be done properly, and anyway, life should be easy.

Just because something is hard at times, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

 

Vatican spokesman speaks out for the rights of parents to home educate

A Vatican Spokesman has called on the UN to respect the rights of parents to choose the education of their children, including the right to home educate.

Many European countries are draconian in their treatment of home educating families. Germany and Sweden are perhaps two of the most tyrannical when it comes to the rights of families. More than one family has fled Germany to find asylum in a country that respects their rights.

Actually the way German authorities behave towards families whose children are having serious problems in school make our social services look almost professional.

It’s concerned to see that the fight goes on in California. It was lost, it seems to me, in New York, but there are plenty of genuinely free states left – Texas stands out as one of the best.

We must pray and fight for our freedoms and rights to care for our children properly.

God’s active will and His passive will in conceiving babies????

Is it really true that God plans every pregnancy? Is every baby ever conceived done with Him, actively willing it? Or are babies conceived in His permissive will? I don’t know – but it’s bugging me.

I’ve been reading Simcha Fisher’s thoughts on NFP, providentialism and how to get NFP very wrong (tongue in cheek) and make marriage a bit of a nightmare. I only learned about NFP and all it’s joys and hurdles relatively recently (about 11 years) but I remember back then as I was learning hearing the words “there’s no such thing as an unplanned baby,” for the first time. Even then, in the first blush of new and freedom giving information the words hit a nerve somewhere. I couldn’t quite accept that. The idea is that every baby conceived is willed by God. He plans the baby even of the parents don’t.

I know that God ensouls every child. I know that the time of ensoulment isn’t revealed, but that the two cell zygote is fully human carrying all the DNA information that will make the baby’s features, and all else right from conception. That means that the baby is a person from the get go and so has an inherent right to life. But I am not sure I accept that this means God actively willed that baby’s existance.

The question for me is just how bound is God to the laws of nature He invented? Obviously Scripture tells us He can bypass those laws and have couples conceive a baby even when all seems lost. Examples of that abound in Scripture from Sarah and Abraham, through Rachel and Jacob-Israel to Elizabeth and Zachariah and there’s more I know. But those are special cases. Most of us conceive our babies in the natural way. Nature has made a woman ovulate once a month with an egg that lives an average 24 hrs. The man makes sperm every days and a sperm can live up to five days in good conditions. Now, I have seen ana amazing NFP chart where the only explanation for the conception of the baby was that the husband’s sperm had lived for an astonishing 8 days. It’s a good chance God had a plan there :)

I tend to lean to the idea that babies are conceived – mostly- by God’s permissive will. That is He abides by the laws of nature He has made and only interferes in  special circumstances.  You see, I can’t quite accept He ACTIVELY wills for babies to be conceived to abusive parents, rape victims, children who have got drunk and had sex in a park, girls who are so utterly alone and unsupported that they are almost bound to seek an abortion, babies in petri dishes or any of the other horrible and terrifying ways children are brought into the world or denied life in it. How could He actively will any of that?

Children are conceived – as far as I can see- because either a man and a woman or sexually capable children have sex, or because some scientist does it in a dish in a lab. Then God pours out His graces and gives us His Mother to turn to so that we can choose then to be good parents to the children we have. A parent can turn their back on God and kill the child, or have the child and neglect or abuse them. All these things are allowed in God’s permissive will because He has given us Free Will and we can love Him and live His way, or reject Him and wreck our children’s lives as much as possible.

I can’t believe that God would will a child to be given to abusive parents, while good, loving couples are left unable to conceive.

So help me out here. Is every baby planned? And if so how?

Interesting experience with “Bible believers” – or not.

The doorbell rang and three people were standing there. They claimed to be theology students who had written a dissertation and wondered if they could present it to me for my thoughts. I decided to say yes. So I invited them in.

I was asked if I believed in the Bible and I said yes. They asked if I believed all of the Bible, and I said yes. They then asked if I was Christian and I said yes.

They then proceeded with the ‘presentation’ – and I use the word very loosely. What these theology students had done is take one verse from Revelation 22:17 and run so far off the track with it they have come up with another god. There is, they insisted, a mother god!

Obviously I had to disagree. I asked them where they got that idea from. They didn’t seem to know – they just asserted that there is a mother god. They pointed to the words “water of life” and asked where the water comes from. I answered it comes from Christ and they said “So not the Church.”

So then I explained that the bride, Christ’s Church was established so that it/she could give us the water that pours from Christ. How else were we to get it?

They insisted this wasn’t the case as the bride is a mother god.

I asked them why it was then that St Paul taught differently and that all the early Church Fathers saw the Church as the bride and not one had accepted a mother goddess? These three theology students looked a little blank as they had obviously never heard of the Church Fathers.

Finally I clicked on my computer Bible. As soon as they saw the Bible start to load in the screen they lept up and rushed away! What kind of Bible believing theology students run for it as soon as they see a Bible?

It shows that when you have no authority to help you interpret Scripture properly, just how badly things can go. St Peter warns that there are things in Scripture that are hard to understand, which the “ignroant and unstable wrest, as they do the other Scriptures,” (by this he means other Scriptures than the ones taught by St. Paul) “to their own destruction.” This is a strict warning from St. Peter that we should not be making up our own interpretations of Scripture – and that doing so could very well lead to our own destruction. That’s no a mild warning is it?

How do people get so bogged down in their own opinions that they can come up with a goddess from one verse in the entire Bible? Honestly I don’t know. But I am so grateful that Christ did not leave us orphans but gave us the Church to be the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15) and anyone who doesn’t listen to the Church they are much like pagans- that is they have separated themselves from her (Matt 18: 17). In the end the question that must be answered is this ; from where do you get your authority?

I have received the versatile blog award

I am very touched to have been awarded the Versatile Blog Award from Eva of Untrodden Paths. I don’t get around to reading other blogs very much these days but I do recommend Eva’s blog as she posts lots of ideas for books and activities. The fact that she posts bilingually as well is an extra bonus. Go and have a look.

To accept the award you have to thank the person who gave you the award – so thank you Eva :) – write seven things about you and (if possible) pass the award on to 15 other blogs. Seven things about me;

- I love llama’s and dream of having one complete with saddle and little cart to pull.

- I read books more than blogs now.

- I wear fluffy slippers with a face on them.

- I was once caught by a daughter wielding two wooden spoons when I tipped over while we were packing the dishwasher.

-  I am fascinated by the neanderthals and the question of their humanity.

- I used to teach British Sign Language and now sometimes forget the English word, but remember the Sign for things. Weird aren’t I?

- I am allergic to mangoes. Yep I am weird.

I pass the award on to Kalei who offers such a variety of freebies to all.

Therese who homeschools, cooks, sews with astonishing skill, and helps her children with type 1 diabetes keep on top of carbs and insulin. Now that IS versatile.

Sanabitur Anima Mea – because she is courageous enough to not only fight serious depression and an eating disorder, but to write about her fight so that others can be supported and know they are not alone.

Rita swims her tigerish waters and blogs on things as diverse as theology through personal stories to the joys of teaching science.

And Nonna who blogs on her beautiful Orthodox faith, her homeschooling of her two sons who have autism, her battle with ME and all the serious illnesses it drags in with it – and that has been a huge inspiration for me as I cope with my own illness.

And finally the wonders of peotry, strange happenings, life lessons and of course the unutterable joy of a fine variety of buscuits at Life the Universe and Would you Pass the Custard Creams.